So you’ve decided that low interest rates make it the perfect time to purchase your first home or upgrade to something a little bigger.
Before you embark on your house search it’s essential that you take the time to consider where you want to live. Why? Because your home is a big investment and location can make all the difference between finding a dream home that will give you years of enjoyment or a lemon.
Here are some key considerations to help you determine the right neighbourhood for you.
Pace of Life
If you’re young and looking for proximity to entertainment you may want to choose inner city. If the quieter life is more your cup of tea, look for city fringe suburbs or find out where some quieter pockets can be found in the city. Don’t be tempted into believing an acre block or inner city apartment will work for you if you know it does not suit the lifestyle you lead.
If you’ve got family, or are expecting to soon, it’s important to think about proximity to schools, child care and sporting facilities as well as transportation.
Find out what job opportunities exist in different locations and be sure to choose a location where the economy is growing and employment won’t be a problem. If you’re currently in work, make sure the commute in each day is not too draining or time consuming.
To Stay or to Sell
If you’re buying with intentions of settling in be sure to choose an area you really like that fits your lifestyle for the here and now but will also cater in the years ahead as your circumstances change. If on the other hand capital growth and re-sell are part of your plan you may be better off going head over heart and choosing a location that offers strong growth potential.
Remember, no neighborhood selection should come without a lot of research. Look into crime rates and be sure to find out if any big developments are in the pipeline in your area.
If you’re looking to buy a property this spring, you could find yourself up against some stiff competition. Recent statistics from RP Data showed that all across the country, more and more people are selling homes at better prices than they bought them for. Whether it’s regular home value growth or renovation work that pushes up listing prices, there’s one important step in the sales process that can get help you get a good deal on real estate – negotiation with the agent.
So how do you get satisfactory results at the negotiating table?
If you’re itching to get into a new property, it is always tempting to jump in and settle for what the seller wants, even if it’s out of your range. But it’s important to be patient. Set yourself a maximum price to begin with, and be realistic about it. For example, you aren’t likely to find a Sydney CBD bungalow for under $500,000. You could engage a valuer to give you a concrete reading on what a property is worth, and then work from there. But make sure you have set a bar that is as high as you will go, and stick to it – don’t sell yourself short!
Know the Seller
Whether you’re dealing with an agent or the seller themselves, it’s crucial to try and get a feel for the situation they are in. If they are desperate to get out of the property, you may be able to discuss a lower price than anticipated – but don’t push it too far or you could lose a sale. By using an agent, they will be able to do extensive research around the property and work out the reasons a seller is getting out of their home, which can give you valuable leverage at the negotiating table.
Know the Market
By getting around and understanding the value and growth of the wider property market, you can take some excellent bargaining chips to the table when you try to buy. If a listing price is well above that of surrounding homes, you can mention this – it also shows you’ve done your research, meaning no beating around the bush from the people you negotiate with. You’ll also get a feel for the neighbourhood, and whether it’s somewhere you truly want to live.
By putting in this few hours of extra work and negotiation, you could save yourself thousands on a home – not a bad hourly rate if you ask us!